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Buffalo State women's hockey announces 2017-18 team awards

BUFFALO STATE ATHLETICS

HorvatitsBUFFALO, N.Y. -- With the close of the semester, Buffalo State officially wrapped up its 2017-18 athletic seasons and to celebrate, the women's hockey program announced six major team award winners:

UNSUNG HERO: Brooke Krantz
Krantz was a driving force for the Bengals for the past four seasons.  Dependable for a big face-off and quick to move the puck out of the defensive zone, Krantz was one of the best two-way players of the season. "Her composure in both zones made her a top forward for us last season. She was quick to the pucks behind our net or in front of the our opponents and she will be greatly missed next year," said head coach Jennifer Wilson.
 
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE- Caitie Horvaitits
Horvatits completed her bachelor's degree in physics with  3.87 cumulative GPA, qualifying for the Dean's List all eight semesters.  "Caitie was a fantastic lead by example, leader. By putting an emphasis on community service and academics, she has set the bar higher for her teammates," Wilson said.
 
LEADERSHIP AWARD- Emily DeCock
DeCock was a fantastic role model this season as one of the teams leading defense. A positive and driving force on the D side, she was quick to help the newcomers adjust to their surroundings here at Buffalo State.  "Emily exemplifies what it means to be a leader on and off the ice and she will be greatly missed as a member of our defensive group next season," Wilson said.
 
MOST IMPROVED- Kayla Kopinski
Kopinski transferred to Buffalo State this year after one year at Salem State.  She was a pleasant surprise for the coaching staff and really came into her own the second half of the season. "She started to use her stride to her advantage, connect on passes and was timing her pinches right. She became a driving force on the power play as well and we are excited to see her development in the years to come," said Wilson.
 
BREAKOUT SEASON- Emma Ruggiero
Finishing fourth in points with seven goals and five assists, Ruggiero was a key part of the Bengals offensive core. "Emma is a really fun player to watch. She is deceptive, she is quick and her feet never stop moving. From August to March, she developed and came into her own and it was rewarding to see. She was heavily relied on as one of top penalty killers and we are excited to see what she can do next season," said Wilson.

COACHES CHARACTER- Kira Herkey
A newcomer to the team, freshman Herkey played in 15 games this season collecting two assists. "Kira is one of the hardest working players we have. She always put the team first, was upbeat and positive and volunteered to help out in anyway she could.  She is a fantastic teammate and a great addition to the Bengals," Wilson said.